It’s hard for Charleston’s visitors not notice the dilapidated, unoccupied, falling-down buildings around Charleston and wonder why the city doesn’t order their owners to destroy them. But chances are the opposite is true: the city probably has ordered the owners not to destroy them.
The reason is that Charleston loves anything old, and if the structure has an unusual or disappearing architectural interest, such as a window cornice, it stays as long as it can remain propped up. Period.
Charleston’s philosophy of preservation and restoration is very different from Williamsburg, Va., where old also is important. Where Williamsburg replicates valuable old buildings that cannot be saved, Charleston keeps buildings standing as long as possible, then replaces them with new buildings that complement the neighborhood.PLEASE SHARE THIS: